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Knowledge sharing in the age of new technologies at KMWorld Connect 2021

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KMWorld Connect 2021 kicked off this week with an opening keynote by Jay Liebowitz, visiting professor & MSBA co-program director, Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, and author of A Research Agenda for Knowledge Management and Analytics. He presented a talk on “Building Organizational Intelligence: Knowledge Sharing in the Age of New Technologies.”

Exploring synergies between KM and emerging technologies, AI, and analytics, Liebowitz examined KM from a multidisciplinary perspective,  and demonstrated the ways in which knowledge sharing worldwide can be enhanced in order to better society and improve organizational performance. Liebowitz also discussed the role of “executive intuitive awareness” in today’s data-driven environment. 

The first generation of KM was personal KM, and the second was a focus on collection and codification. The third generation of KM was a focus on knowledge collaboration and networking. The current and fourth generation of KM, said Liebowitz, is bringing in AI, machine learning, IoT, IoP (Internet of People), analytics and other emerging developments.

KMWorld Connect 2021 is going on this week, November 15 -18, with workshops on Friday, November 19. On-demand replays of sessions will be available for a limited time to registered attendees and many presenters are also making their slide decks available through the conference portal. For more information, go to www.kmworld.com/conference/2021. Access to session archives will be available on or about November 29, 2021, so be sure to check back for on-demand replays.

Over the past years, a key focus in KM has been to align KM with learning. For the fourth generation of KM, there needs to be greater synergies between KM and:

  • Intuition-based decision making
  • Data analytics and visualization
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Organizational strategy
  • AI/ML
  • Augmented reality and gamification
  • Intelligence amplification (IA)

Citing comments from IT leaders such as Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, as well as industry research, Liebowitz focused on the importance of intuition or experienced-based insights to aid decision making versus strictly relying on data and analytics. He quoted a Forrester study among 2,200 executives in 10 countries in which two-thirds revealed that they rely heavily on intuition and experience. Analytics plus intuition equals success, said Liebowitz, who noted that the longer a person has been in a role, the more they are likely to trust their intuition or experience.

Potential areas of KM-analytics synergy, according to Liebowitz, are:

  • Cognitive computing (blending analytics with intuition-based decision making/experiential learning)
  • Business process mining
  • KM as a key role in the management and governance of the use of big data/analytics in organizational settings
  • Strategic intelligence (intersection of KM/BI/CI)

What needs to be done to enable the next generation of KM?

  • Promote greater dialogue between KM and the various communities
  • KM educators and practitioners must be somewhat adept in applying analytics tools, techniques, and methodologies, and the data analytics educators must also develop appropriate KM skills
  • Further investigate areas for collaboration

Liebowitz also shared his “10 Rules of the Road for KM Success” and closed with his view of the key knowledge sharing tenets for success.

10 Rules of the Road

  1. Have a Senior Champion & Align Your KM Strategy With Your Organizational Strategies, Goals, and Objectives
  2. Develop a Well-Designed KM Implementation Plan (People, Process, and Technology)
  3. Develop a Formal Knowledge Retention Strategy—Start from Day One of the Employee’s Life with the Organization
  4. Incorporate KM as Part of Human Capital Strategy, Succession Planning, Workforce Development, Strategic Planning, and/or Quality Management
  5. Be Thoughtful in Your Approach (Knowledge Audit, Social Network Analysis, etc.)
  6. Align Your KM Approaches to Fit Your Organizational Culture
  7. Celebrate the Successes, Then Bring in the Bittersweet Stories
  8. Develop KM Metrics (Especially Outcome Measures)
  9. Don’t Force-Fit Technology (People/Culture/Process Are Where The Rubber Hits the Road)
  10. Remember that KM is Just One Part of Your “Strategic Intelligence”

According to Liebowitz, the key knowledge-sharing tenets for success are:

  • Enhance the reward and recognition system to include learning and knowledge-sharing competencies
  • Acquaint people with knowledge sharing and its benefits
  • Share the message that with creativity comes failure and we all benefit from talking about our successes and our failures
  • Integrate knowledge sharing into everyone’s job
  • Educate people about what types of knowledge are valuable and how they can be used
  • Make sure the technology works for people, not vice versa
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